I paint a simple picture: Me and my buddy Evan in a racquetball court. He serves, a vicious, twisting corkscrew of a serve that shoots behind me. I was wearing my wonderful gym shorts and in my typical wide-set kung fu stance. The ball ricochets off the back wall, up, up, fast, fast... and connects cleanly with the apex of my scrotum.

In that bizzare perfect clairity of vision during a disaster, I actually SEE my gonadal organs bounce up and out, much like a boxer's speed bag after he hits it just once - an inch higher, and the ball would have bounced harmlessly off my buttcheek. An inch lower, and it would have sailed cleanly between my legs. But it didn't. It hit my testicles, themselves, clean and square and simultaneously, gently bopping them out of the way. And I know that I have about four seconds before my solar plexus knots up like a wad of dough under my grandma's unrelenting knuckles. It's a kind of numbness that you can never enjoy or be thankful for. I wonder if I'm going to be pukesick.

I am paused at the threshold of hell. My balls, bruised, settle back down into their usual position. I have heard women remark on the pain of childbirth as a sigularly feminine agony - well, there IS a counterpart, it's just spaced out over a man's entire life, a hundred episodes similar to this one. Feel my pain.

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